3 positives from Celtic's season so far under Ange Postecoglou

By David Walton

November 9, 2021

Celtic go into the third international break of the season still firmly in the title-race after 6 wins in their last 7 matches.

It hasn’t been a walk in the park under Ange Postecoglou, but the manager has managed to shrug off the early doubts and has started to build an exciting reputation for himself.

Celtic may sit 4 points behind Rangers in the Premiership, but context is needed. The Hoops are still finding their groove whilst there’s a growing confidence that we’re about to embark on a big run of form.

And here, we take a look at the 3 biggest positives of the Ange Postecoglou era so far:

1. The beautiful attacking, inventive football

Celtic were a dire watch last season, let’s be honest about it. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Shot way off-target. That’s how it tended to go at times under Neil Lennon last term. The same went for John Kennedy when took over back in late February too.

“We are genuinely witnessing a really special Celtic front three” | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail

“We are genuinely witnessing a really special Celtic front three” | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail
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Ange has come in and has been constant in his demand for exciting, high-press, high-energy, attacking football. Football that sees a high-intensity approach for 90 minutes with a refusal to stop. Football that takes the game to the opposition and uses a gung-ho approach reliant on a host of creative talents in the final third.

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Postecoglou has taken charge of 25 games as Celtic manager with his team banging home 56 goals. That’s an average of over 2 per game. To put it into perspective, we only scored 43 in our final 25 games of last term. A massive improvement to say the least.

Celtic have spurned a host of other opportunities to add to their goal tally this season. They’ve created these chances through their high-intensity style that Scottish opposition simply can’t compete with.

Considering we’re only into the early stages of the team’s development, it’s heart-racing to think of just how good Postecoglou’s team will be several months down the line.

2. An incredible summer window

Make no mistake, the summer work done by Celtic was unreal. Even before Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie, and Kris Ajer departed, it was already being bigged up by some as our biggest rebuild in the club’s history [Daily Record].

It looked grim. Not only were key players set to depart, but we also had several loan signings waving goodbye to the club too. Not to mention the summer arrivals last season proved to be a disaster, with the captain Scott Brown also deciding to depart.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But Ange has managed to complete a large part of the rebuild already and successfully so. He brought a tremendous 14 signings to the club with as many as 10 going straight into his first-team squad.

Kyogo Furuhashi, Liel Abada, and Jota have totally reinvented Celtic as an attacking force. Kyogo is already on 13 goals for the club even after missing a month of action [Transfermarkt]. Abada, meanwhile, has 7 goals and 5 assists whilst Jota has 12 direct goal contributions to his name. Their influence is clear.

You then have Joe Hart who has been a commanding presence as the new number one. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt have been developing a promising centre-back partnership, whilst Josip Juranovic looks like a steal from Legia Warsaw.

He’s managed to embed all of these players into the first-team to great effect. And whilst question marks still remain over the likes of James McCarthy, Liam Scales, and Giorgos Giakoumakis, this is a squad that’s moving in the right direction collectively.

3. Anthony Ralston – enough said

Postecoglou has pushed plenty of players on during his time at Celtic Park already, but nobody could’ve foreseen the renaissance of Anthony Ralston.

We know the story. We all wanted him gone in the summer only for Ange to instill some belief into him and make him his first choice. All of a sudden, Ralston is a different beast and has already signed a new long-term contract at Celtic Park until the summer of 2025.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Ralston looked so devoid of footballing ability before the summer. His technique looked questionable whilst his final ball was, let’s be real, laughable. There was a reason things didn’t work out for him in loan spells with Dundee United and St Johnstone respectively.

Yet this term, the 22-year-old has shown massive improvements in a whole host of areas. He’s an efficient ball carrier down the right flank and has shown good link-up play too. His final ball has suddenly bolstered in quality whilst he’s also become a legitimate goal threat. Not to mention his one-v-one defending and backtracking have saved us on several occasions this term.

When you look at players who typify the Ange regime, Ralston is at the forefront. A sign perhaps of the magic touch Postecoglou is able to sprinkle on those who have the ability.

In other news, Club source states the allocation Bayer Leverkusen will hand Celtic for vital UEL clash